The Last House on the Street

karen staff pick

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March 8, 2022

How can a brand new house hold such dark secrets?  Kayla and husband, both architects, had designed together and were building, their dream home in a high end new subdivision in their quiet little town of Round Hill, North Carolina when her husband was tragically killed in a construction accident. Having already given up their former home, Kayla has no choice but to move in, along with her four year old daughter, even though the house already holds sad memories and the woods surrounding the property now feel dark and claustrophobic more than welcoming.  Especially considering the visit she gets at work from a strange older woman who warns her not to move in.

Kayla soon meets her neighbour, Ellie Hockley, whose home used to be the only one on the street, and it becomes clear that Ellie is also harboring secrets that stretch back 50 years. 

The other storyline concerns Ellie fifty years ago as a young girl and her work with the SCOPE project,  which encouraged political activism and worked to protect voting rights.  As prominent members of a small North Carolina town, that didn’t sit well with her family and neighbours, to say the least.

But what is the connection between Kayla and Ellie, and why does someone not want her moving into the new house? And what dark secrets about secret love, violence, prejudice, and social justice are being kept by the woods at the end of the street after all this time?

The Last House on the Street is a compelling, moving, and suspenseful story that intensifies as it progresses, and will be welcomed by all Diane Chamberlain fans, and perfect for readers of Karen White, Jodi Picoult’s Small Great Things, or Therese Fowler’s A Good Neighborhood.


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